Those with the smallest of dogs know how walks during the winter & early spring months are challenging! If you’re currently navigating the world of dog walks for the first time or open to making adventures with your pup smoother during this time of the year, read on! We have some helpful tips to make it less challenging, especially for those with larger dog breeds & will let you know what we find works well on my walks with our dogs…
Shampoo & Towel store:
Dedicate a number of old towels to your dog; stack them in a convenient location along with a laundry basket. Having clean, dry towels ready for your dog speeds clean-up times & having a laundry basket close by to throw them in when finished will keep the area tidy, ready to launder. Ensure you have plenty of dog shampoo to hand – for dogs that have made the most of the mud, we recommend trying a dog shampoo soap bar. You may need to invest in a sensitive shampoo if you need to wash your dog a lot during these months.
Car Seat Cover:
An essential purchase & available in various styles. They are important because a wet dog makes for a VERY wet car seat, VERY quickly especially if you have a larger, long haired dog! Grit & mud will ruin the seat; sand will navigate into every gap. Towels/blankets are ok for putting on top of the cover but will not give the protection needed. A dog car seat cover will have a waterproof backing. Our preference is a cover with staps that hook over the head rests on the rear & front seats, creating a U shape protector across the back seat – this also protects the car floor & seats from splashes & mud.
TIP: can also be placed into the boot of the car by hooking one side over the back seat headrests & laying the rest flat across the boot.
These seasons are always wet in the UK & walking boots are not always sufficient. We never leave for a dog walk without a pair of wellies & if you go on a decent walk we highly recommend investing in a suitable pair – basic cheaper wellies do not provide any insulation or support for your feet. Our go to wellies are always Muck Boots, they have an insulated sole, 100% waterproof, comfy & warm neoprene & lightweight – you can walk for miles in these in any environment.
Don’t let your items & dog treats get soggy in heavy rain! Choose a bag that doesn’t let water in easily, this way, dog treats stay dry & yummy! A small cross body bag will keep your hands & pockets free & allows you to carry small items like anti bac hand gel!
Dark Nights & Mornings:
Torches! Using a bright torch will illuminate pathways & the ground – handy for your dog’s toilet break! Always stick to main pathways & walkways during darker months.
It’s tough on dog paws in the wet months, ALWAYS ensure, after your walk, that you rinse your dog’s paws thoroughly in between the pads to remove any debris & small stones. In the cold season, salt spread by gritters can linger on the pads causing irritation & cracking. Be sure to have some paw balm ready to apply to soothe your dog’s paws after a long cold walk! We love Pet Head paw balm! It smells amazing.
Last but not least, STAMINA!
Most importantly – know your dog & their stamina. Walking in the cold or wet weather can take its toll on some dogs. Know your dog & their limits. Gun dogs or working dogs for example do much better in cold wet environments than others & seem to be able to go on & on in these conditions. Many dogs cannot or prefer not to. Know your dogs limitations!